One of the more salacious (and disputed) elements of last week's HBO special was Stanley McClover's contention that a booster gave him $7,000 with which to buy a car. Junior Rosegreen, who played with McClover in both high school and college, contradicted that claim. He said that the car didn't cost $7,000 and that McClover bought it with Pell Grant money.
Most of the articles about Rosegreen's denials only mention the part about the Pell Grant money and leave out his remark about the car not costing $7,000. If you look into things to any degree, you find out that the first part cannot stand without the second part.
McClover's final football season at Auburn was in 2005. The maximum Pell Grant payout for the 2005-06 school year was $4,050.
Now, I haven't seen McClover or Rosegreen provide a time frame for when this transaction went down or how much McClover received in Pell Grant money at the time it happened. Given that Pell Grants have only ever gone up in value, the most McClover ever could have received from the program is that $4,050. He would have been about $3,000 short of a $7,000 car purchase in his final school year, and we don't know if McClover even qualified for the maximum payout. If it happened earlier in his career and/or he didn't qualify for the max grant, he would be even farther short of that price.
For what it's worth, McClover denied Rosegreen's contention that he bought the vehicle with Pell Grant money. The only way to find out how much that car sold for would be for someone to turn up some kind of documentation on it, like its Bill of Sale for instance. The previous owner might still have that, but given that McClover says he's not out to bring Auburn down, the story is likely done. I'm not sure how we would find out the identity of the previous owner if McClover won't reveal who it was, unless he or she comes forward or Rosegreen remembers it.
If it was somehow confirmed that McClover's car did in fact cost $7,000, then Rosegreen's story loses all of its impact. McClover would have had to either saved up multiple years of Pell Grant money for the car or have at least an extra $3,000 sitting around somewhere. Neither of those scenarios sound likely to me for A) a college student who qualifies for a Pell Grant, nor B) a college student, period.
It's going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to sort out everything that came to light as a result of that HBO special. This car issue is the only one where any amount of certainty is possible, but for now, even it is a dead end.